Feng Zhiping Development of a Hybrid Electric Racing Car

Feng Zhiping Development of a Hybrid Electric Racing Car Madeleine Read

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Feng Zhiping Development of a Hybrid Electric Racing Car
Feng Zhiping Development of a Hybrid Electric Racing Car

Pollution: Racecars

Pollution is the addition of harmful substances in the environment. These harmful substances have numerous implications on planet earth. One type of pollution that has hugely contributed to the deterioration of the environment is the addition of gases into the atmosphere, air pollution. Human beings seem to ignore the truth about air pollution, that what we experience with our visual and auditory systems is only ten percent of the total pollution. One can, therefore, do a rough estimation of the number of pollutant gases in the atmosphere by considering what we don’t see is ninety percent. A normal human being would notice air pollution in an area that has harmful gases releases in the atmosphere (Zhang and Stuart Batterman, 316). This topic becomes more interesting when we discover that what we love most contributes to 90% of total air pollution. Whether we accept it or not, cars are the highest contributor to air pollution. Let us consider practical scenarios in the transport industry. Other people have classified racing cars in the entertaining industry, but let us consider it to be in the transport industry to compare with bus rapid transport systems. Cars use three types of fuel, gasoline, diesel, and hydrogen.

In recent times, manufacturers have invented hybrid cars that use both fuels and electricity. Though they are considered environmentally friendly, they have a significant share of pollutants in the atmosphere (Guarnieri, 61). I will consider these two experiences, driving in a traffic jam and watching race cars. One night, I was driving my vehicle back home from visiting my doctor. Since it was on a Friday, many individuals prefer using their vehicles to and from work. While leaving the city, I was caught into traffic, which took almost an hour to get through. Within this time, smoke was everywhere, reducing the visibility of every driver. Those with night vision glasses could see to some extent while those without glasses depended on car lights to guess their directions. This proves how much our cars pollute while in traffic. Those who have traveled upcountry can bear witness of the number of pollutants the race cars contribute to the atmosphere. In a rally, one would only see smoke as the cars pass by. Those who are not keen may not even see the race cars, only hearing their sounds and seeing a cloud of smoke will be their experience. However, these claims would not be substantial if they are not supported by scientific facts, historical events, and quantifiable evidence (Prideaux, 106). From current statistics, race cars contribute to more than 34% of pollution, with the rest attributed to industries, public and private transport systems.

Air pollutions have negative implications on planet earth. In this section, we shall analyze how pollution by race cars contribute to the negative effects of pollution. For a car to move, it needs an engine, which is the motor of the vehicle. Engines are designed by different companies, which have their technologies when it comes to production. Car engines have different efficiencies (Nelson, Tibbett, and Day, 5303). Engine efficiency is the relationship between the energy contained in the fuel and the amount of energy used to perform the mechanical work. As the fuel in the engine is burnt, it releases energy which is converted to mechanical motion. If the engine has lower efficiency, much of the fuel would not be fully burnt. All fuels used by racing cars are components of hydrocarbons (Kean, Harley, and Kendall, 3739). When hydrocarbon fuels are burnt, they release energy as well as harmful pollutants. At this stage, we can then classify air pollution from cars as primary and secondary pollution. Primary air pollution by racing cars is the pollutants released directly to the atmosphere by the car while secondary pollution is attributed to the chemical reactions between the gases emitted into the atmosphere. Components of primary pollution include particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen, carbon and sulphur oxides, and greenhouse gases.

The major pollutants from a racing car are finer particles, and most of them cannot be seen by naked eyes. Particulate matter is the finest particles, and are a threat to human health (Bindan and Ning, 047). Particulate matter is seen in the form of soot and contributes to the highest percentage of pollutants from a race car. Particulate matter stays on the lower part of the atmosphere since they have a higher density than the rest. Diesel contributes a high amount of particulate matter than other fuel types of the same amount (Nelson, Tibbett, and Day, 5303). Volatile organic compounds are the second largest contributor to pollution from racing cars. Presence of these compounds is evidenced by smog in the atmosphere. When released into the atmosphere, they react with nitrogen oxides in sunlight to form the low-level ozone layer. They are a poison to the human respiratory system, causing coughing and reduction of lung holding capacity. Volatile organic compounds include benzene and butadiene. The scientist has also proved that they are sources of cancerous cells. Other pollutants from a racing car are nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and sulfur oxides (Bindan and Ning, 047). These gases are classified as greenhouse gases, which are useful in maintaining earth temperatures.

Feng Zhiping Development of a Hybrid Electric Racing Car

Negative impacts of race car pollution are damaged by the ozone layer, acidic rains, and health implications. The ozone layer is the uppermost part of the atmosphere that protects the earth from Ultra Violet radiations. UV rays are classified as UV-A and UV-B. As the sun shines on earth, it releases UV rays that are harmful to human beings (Zhang and Stuart Batterman, 312). However, chemicals released by motor vehicles damage the ozone layer, leaving us exposed to the dangerous UV rays. UV rays are dangerous to the skin and are believed to cause cancer.  Let’s turn our focus to global climate change. The sun produces a lot of heat that contains lots of energy. Energy in the form of light from the sun passes to earth surface, and fail to be absorbed by the atmosphere due to their short wavelength. The earth absorbs this energy and releases heat at a longer wavelength to the atmosphere. This heat is referred to as infrared radiation (Dauvergne). Greenhouse gases absorb this energy and emit some back into the earth’s atmosphere. An excessive amount of greenhouse gases means that most energy would be remitted back to the atmosphere, causing rising temperatures.

Feng Zhiping Development of a Hybrid Electric Racing Car

Racing cars have engine designs that make them powerful than normal vehicles. Apart from the original features, aesthetics have been achieved through redesigning and adding additional features. Racing cars for Formula 1, Grand Prix and NASCAR could be easily noticed and differentiated from other cars. What people don’t understand is how small engines fit into such small authentic machines (Kean, Harley, and Kendall, 3739). This feature is achieved through a unique design and manufacturing of the engine. It is for this reason that racing cars pollute more than other cars. For an engine to be powerful, it has to burn much fuel at a shorter time (Nelson, Tibbett, and Day, 5303). Evidence suggests that manufacturers have to change the design but still maintain the small size of the machine. More cylinders for combustion are added and made smaller. More fuel is thus burnt at high speed. Much of the fuel is not burnt and is released in the atmosphere. We shall try to quantify the amount of pollution from these cars, in relation to the pollutants emitted by one car. On average, one racing car consumes one gallon of fuel for 4 miles. That means that a racing car consumes a half a gallon per mile. In a single race, a racing car covers an average of 160 miles (Kean, Harley, and Kendall, 3739). This then translates to 80 gallons of fuel per car in one race. Each race with 20 cars translates to a consumption of 160 gallons of fuel. Since laboratory experiments show that a gallon combusted produces 19.6 pounds of carbon dioxide, a single race is set to produce 3137 pounds of carbon dioxide. It will, therefore, be critical to evaluate the historical aspects of automobile racing to determine the contribution of pollutants in the atmosphere by racing cars.

Automobile racing is practiced as a sport in many countries. It practiced on roads, tracks, and closed circuits. Numerous governing bodies have been formed to guide these races. Historical background indicates that automobile racing was started after crude oil was discovered in the United States of America. However, it became a sport when the internal combustion engine was discovered in 1880. The first races were held in Paris France, with a distance of about 80 kilometers. The sport was then adopted in the United States of America, with racing cars covering an average of eighty kilometers per race. Subsequently, there have been more than 300 car races in the world for a year. This number increases yearly as more vehicle is manufactured for this purpose (Bindan and Ning, 047). There are also hundreds of unofficial automobile races in the world. But who can be blamed for these high rates of pollution?

Environmental protection should be made a priority in implementing all projects, policies, and businesses. Environmental protection includes all the practices that aim at keeping the world green. One of those activities is preventing and minimizing pollution from motor vehicles, particularly racing cars. Though the competitions are entertaining events, they should be done at a more environmentally friendly way. A number of solutions are suggested for this menace. These suggestions could be adopted by all the stakeholders in the automobile racing industry, including environmental protection agencies, racing governing bodies and car manufacturers. Manufacturers are the most important stakeholders when advocating for a greener environment. The first action is the change of engine design from the V-10 and V-8 engines to turbo-powered V-6 engines (Kean, Harley, and Kendall, 3739). Though formula one cars have switched to using such engines in their cars, most of smaller races still use the older versions. Understandably, the V-10 engines are stronger. However, they consume a lot of fuel and release harmful pollutants into the atmosphere.

Turbo powered engines provide the same power as those of many cylinders while utilizing a smaller amount of fuel. This idea could be embraced by manufacturers like Ferrari, Mercedes, Porsche, Toyota, and Audi. It is also a concern that it is more expensive to manufacturer turbo engines, and therefore companies still prefer the older versions of designs (Kean, Harley, and Kendall, 3739). Federation Internationale de Automobile could play a crucial role in ensuring all racing cars adheres to these manufacturing standards. The implication of this suggestion is reduced use of hydrocarbon fuel and emission rates. A turbo engine would consume less fuel per mile. Hence fewer particles would be released into the atmosphere. There are also suggestions that racers should use turbo V-6 cars during trials as it is being tested and introduced in racings. It is encouraging that Formula 1 has already embraced this idea.

Feng Zhiping Development of a Hybrid Electric Racing Car

Other than changing the engine design, manufacturers can resolve to electrical, hydrogen and hybrid cars. Use of electric cars would hugely reduce the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy in automobile racing. Pollution would be reduced from the elimination of exhaust fumes. Electric cars use both chemical and sun energy to create mechanical motion. Most electric cars use batteries which are rechargeable (Guarnieri, 61). They could be recharged by solar energy or electrical stations. Unlike electric trains, electric cars need to store charge and use it later. This is its major throwback. However, there are efforts by manufacturers to create cars that do not need recharging. Introduction of these cars into automobile racing will hugely reduce air pollution. Formula One has also been on the forefront to use such cars in their races (Alnaser et al. 370). They introduced the Formula E race cars that run on electricity. The only challenge with electric cars is range and power. Compared to vehicles that use fuel, they accelerate slower and would only last 25 minutes with the stored energy. Those who have used electric cars complained of added weight, hence disadvantaging them during races (Guarnieri, 61). Manufacturers could use a more aerodynamic design to compensate for the extra mass. Electric cars are the major solution pollution caused by combustion engine cars.

Feng Zhiping Development of a Hybrid Electric Racing Car Manufactures

Hydrogen cars are environment-friendly vehicles that can be used in racing. The manufacturers of racing cars can, therefore, shift their designs to manufacturing hydrogen-powered cars instead of the internal-combustion engine ones. Hydrogen cars use fuel cells for power (Pearson, Subic, & Wellnitz, 91). A fuel cell draws hydrogen from a pressurized hydrogen tank, which chemically reacts with oxygen to release water. During the reaction, electricity is released and is used to create mechanical motion. From the process above, it is evident that no pollutants are released. Hydrogen vehicles present the same challenges as electric vehicles, with batteries storing less energy. However, this can be solved by introducing a bank of super-capacitors that charge batteries at a faster speed (Frenzel, and Rönnebeck, 5376). Electric motors can also be modified to have additional acceleration power for the racing cars. Hydrogen can be obtained from renewable sources, making it an environmentally friendly project. Manufacturers can also design hybrid cars that use both gasoline and electricity. Hybrid cars have an advantage over the other as the driver can switch to fuel tanks after exhaustion of the available energy (Pearson, Subic, & Wellnitz, 91). BMW has embraced this method and has already built hydrogen-electric race cars. Examples of hybrid race cars include BMW i8 and the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Federation Internationale Automobile can develop policies that would help reduce pollution by racing cars. By engaging the Environmental Protection Agency, effective policies could be implemented to ban the use of high contributors to pollution. FIA should recommend the use of fuel-efficient vehicles, gradual acceleration, use of low sulfur gasoline, ethanol fuel, and adoption of low emission vehicles (Walsh, 112).

Air pollution is the major cause of climate change in recent decades. Climate change has several implications including global warming, droughts and heat waves, hurricanes, a rise in sea level and melting of ice on the Arctic region. These are severe implications that affect human life (Zhang and Stuart Batterman, 316). Air pollution from racing cars forms the highest contributor, with companies manufacturing new cars each day. Continual exploration of crude oil has encouraged the use of internal combustion engines, which release pollutants into the atmosphere (Dauvergne). Race cars consume more fuel, hence the need to change their designs and improve their efficiency. Among the solutions to be implemented by Federal Internationale Automobile include the introduction of turbo V-6 engines that consume less fuel as well as burns faster (Kean, Harley, and Kendall, 3739). Governing organizations can also introduce hydrogen, electric and hybrid cars. Federal Internationale Automobile has developed policies that have helped reduce pollution, but they need to be innovative and involve manufacturers in drafting and implementing strategies. Formula 1 and NASCAR have also been involved in the campaign against air pollution by racing cars. Formula E racing is one of the initiatives taken by automobile racing stakeholders. Air pollution by racing should be addressed globally since pollution affects each.

 Feng Zhiping Development of a Hybrid Electric Racing Car Works cited

Alnaser, W. E., et al. “Bahrain’s Formula-1 racing circuit: energy and environmental considerations.” Applied Energy83.4 (2006): 352-370.

Bindan, Li, and Wu Ning. “Discuss Pollution and Countermeasure of the Car Exhaust [J].” Environmental Science and Management 7 (2009): 047.

Dauvergne, Peter. The shadows of consumption: Consequences for the global environment. MIT press, 2010.

Frenzel, B., P. Kurzweil, and H. Rönnebeck. “Electromobility concept for racing cars based on lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors.” Journal of Power Sources 196.12 (2011): 5364-5376.

Guarnieri, Massimo. “When cars went electric, part one [historical].” IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine 5.1 (2011): 61-62.

Kean, Andrew J., Robert A. Harley, and Gary R. Kendall. “Effects of vehicle speed and engine load on motor vehicle emissions.” Environmental Science & Technology 37.17 (2003): 3739-3746.

Lambert, Stephen, et al. “Development of a hybrid electric racing car.” (2008): 6-6.

Nelson, Peter F., Anne R. Tibbett, and Stuart J. Day. “Effects of vehicle type and fuel quality on real-world toxic emissions from diesel vehicles.” Atmospheric Environment 42.21 (2008): 5291-5303.

Pearson, G., Leary, M., Subic, A., & Wellnitz, J. (2011). Performance comparison of hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen internal combustion engine racing cars. In Sustainable Automotive Technologies 2011 (pp. 85-91). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Prideaux, Bruce. “The role of automobile associations and clubs.” Drive Tourism. Routledge, 2010. 98-106.

Walsh, Michael. “Global trends in motor vehicle pollution control: a 2011 update. Part 1.” Silniki Spalinowe 50 (2011): 106-117.

Zhang, Kai, and Stuart Batterman. “Air pollution and health risks due to vehicle traffic.” The science of the total Env

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